part of the guide highlights writing about privacy. We've
selected books from our library because they've shaped
debate about privacy in cyberspace, they offer particular
insights, or are simply entertaining.
It covers -
following page offers other points of entry into the literature.
Ferdinand Schoeman's Philosophical Dimensions of Privacy:
An Anthology (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni Press 1984)
and Privacy & Social Freedom (New York: Cambridge
Uni Press 1992) offer an introduction to the philosophy
of privacy in the West.
The Right to Privacy (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni
Press 2000) edited by Ellen Paul & Fred Miller is
an uneven but valuable collection of recent essays about
principle, practice and legislation, complementing Privacy,
Intimacy, and Isolation (New York: Oxford Uni Press
1992) by Julie Inness, Regulating Intimacy: A New
Legal Paradigm (Princeton: Princeton Uni Press 2000)
by Jean Cohen and Rights Talk - The Impoverishment
of Political Discourse (New York: Free Press 1991)
by Mary Ann Glendon. Commanding Right & Forbidding
Wrong in Islamic Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni
Press 2001) by Michael Cook offers insights on privacy
as a key element of Islamic law, supplemented by Wael
Hallaq's Authority, Continuity and Change in Islamic
Law (Cambridge: Cambridge Uni Press 2001).
Sisela Bok's Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment
& Revelation (Oxford: Oxford Uni Press 1985),
Privacy & the Information Age (Lanham: Rowman
& Littlefield 2001) by Serge Gutwirth and Guarding
Life's Dark Secrets: Legal and Social Controls over Reputation,
Propriety and Privacy (Stanford: Stanford Uni Press
2007) by Lawrence Friedman and Privacy in Peril: How
We Are Sacrificing a Fundamental Right in Exchange for
Security and Convenience (New York: Oxford Uni Press
2008) by James Rule are more accessible. Oscar Gandy's
The Panoptic Sort: A Political Economy of Personal
Information (Boulder: Westview 1992) is unfortunately
out of print but more insightful than writing by Michel
Foucault and others of that ilk.
Other pointers to writing about privacy as a human right
are included in the Human
Rights profile elsewhere on this site.
points of reference
There is an extensive literature from the 1970s onwards
regarding public versus private life and its implications.
For an introduction consult Public & Private in
Thought & Practice (Chicago: Uni of Chicago Press
1997) edited by Jeff Weintraub & Krishan Kumar and
Jurgen Habermas' The Structural Transformation of
the Public Sphere (Cambridge: MIT Press 1991). The
five volume A History of Private Life (Cambridge:
Belknap Press 1987-) under the general editorship of Philippe
Aries & Georges Duby is uneven but offers insights
into why privacy is contested. Patricia Boling's Privacy
& the Politics of Intimate Life (Ithaca: Cornell
Uni Press 1996) is a provocative analysis of some feminist
Peter Ward's A History of Domestic Space: Privacy &
the Canadian Home (Vancouver: Uni of British Columbia
2000) uses a smaller canvas but is strongly recommended,
as is Angus McLaren's Sexual Blackmail: A Modern History
(Cambridge: Harvard Uni Press 2002).
The latter is considered in Ill-Gotten Gains: Evasion,
Blackmail, Fraud & Kindred Puzzles of the Law
(Chicago: Uni of Chicago Press 1988) by Leo Katz,
Blackmail: Publicity & Secrecy in Everyday Life
(London: Routledge 1975) by Michael Hepworth and James
Boyle's 1992 paper
A Theory of Law & Information: Copyright, Spleens,
Blackmail and Insider Trading. More detailed pointers
Georg Simmel's 1908 'The Secret & The Secret Society'
is conveniently available in The Sociology of Georg
Simmel (New York: Free Press 1985) translated by Kurt
Wolff. Vance Packard's polemic The Naked Society
(Harmondsworth: Penguin 1967) built on a long tradition
of agitation about privacy in the US.
Individual comments in what has become the Silent
Spring of the modern privacy movement have inevitably
dated. However, many of Packard's examples remain current.
Particular abuses from the early sixties are reflected
in criticisms by the US Federal Trade Commissioner and
Communications Commission in reports noted on the preceding
page of this guide.
For recent warnings of the 'death of privacy' consult
Simson Garfinkel's Database Nation: The Death of Privacy
in the 21st Century (Sebastopol: O'Reilly 2000), The
Soft Cage: Surveillance in America (New York: Basic
Books 2003) by Christian Parenti and the less measured
The End of Privacy: How Total Surveillance Is Becoming
A Reality (New York: New Press 1999) by Reg Whitaker.
Erik Larson's The Naked Consumer: How Our Private
Lives Became Public Commodities (New York: Penguin
1994) updates Packard. Ellen Alderman & Caroline Kennedy
The Right To Privacy (New York: Knopf 1995) uses
a similar approach in exploring the US Bill of Rights
through a tour of workplace privacy, bio-rights and police
Jeffrey Rosen's The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction
of Privacy in America (New York: Random 2000) is another
philosophical treatment. It's built around an argument
that privacy's important because it protects us from being
judged out of context in a "world of short attention
spans" where isolated facts - or factoids - are mistaken
for genuine knowledge.
Barrington Moore Jr's Privacy: Studies in Social &
Cultural History (Armonk: Sharpe 1984) is more insightful;
Robert Ellis Smith's Ben Franklin's Web Site: Privacy
& Curiosity From Plymouth Rock to the Internet
(Providence: Privacy Journal 2000) is better on the US
Three masterful studies by Ithiel de Sola Pool are 'must
read': Technologies of Freedom: On Free Speech in an
Electronic Age (Cambridge: Harvard Uni Press 1983),
Technologies Without Boundaries (Cambridge: Harvard
Uni Press 1990) and the prescient Politics In Wired
Nations (New Brunswick: Transaction 1998).
Simon Davies' Big Brother: Australia's Growing Web
of Surveillance (Sydney: Simon & Schuster 1992)
is fashionably sensationalist. We consider that it lacks
depth and balance. Davies' Big Brother: Britain's Web
of Surveillance & the New Technological Order
(London: Pan 1996) is less impressive.
Priscilla Regan's Legislating Privacy: Technology,
Social Values & Public Policy (Chapel Hill: Uni
of North Carolina Press 1995) provides a useful introduction
to US legislative attempts to reconcile privacy and technology.
Her book is lucid and insightful, touching on questions
ranging from caller ID through to genetic testing.
We regard it as one of the major studies in the past two
Fred Cate's Privacy in the Information Age (Washington:
Brookings Institution 1997) is shorter and more narrowly-focussed.
His argument against EU-style regulation has gained the
support of many US policy makers and business leaders.
A Canadian perspective is provided by the essays in Visions
of Privacy: Policy Choices for the Digital Age (Toronto:
Uni of Toronto Press 1999) edited by Colin Bennett, whose
of the Canadian legislation in relation to international
developments we noted above.
Bennett's Regulating Privacy: Data Protection &
Public Policy in Europe & the United States (Ithaca:
Cornell Uni Press 1992) is essential reading.
We mentioned the Electronic Privacy Information Centre
above. Marc Rotenberg, its Director, along with
Philip Agre, edited the excellent essays in Technology
& Privacy: The New Landscape (Cambridge: MIT Press
1997). They explore privacy-enhancing and privacy-eroding
technologies, philosophical issues, and legislative responses
in Europe and elsewhere.
High Noon on the Electronic Frontier: Conceptual Issues
In Cyberspace (Cambridge: MIT Press 1996 and here)
edited by Peter Ludlow has chapters on privacy principles,
network practicalities (Enemy of the State style
still some way off, with apologies to Hollywood), workplace
privacy, data profiling in direct marketing, medical records
and why a positive approach to privacy by business makes
Mark Stefik's The Internet Edge: Social, Technical
& Legal Challenges for a Networked World (Cambridge:
MIT Press 1999) is characteristically thoughtful.